What’s going on here?

Commenter rikrah posted this last night and I’ve been thinking about it since:

On the morning of December 21, 2010, Lula Smart was preparing to leave for her job at Sears when she heard a firm knock at her front door. An array of law enforcement vehicles had amassed outside, and armed officers were fanning out around her house. Before that day, Smart had no rap sheet to speak of, only a master’s degree in criminal justice earned earlier that year. While she enjoyed her work in retail, Smart hoped to transition into a job more like that of her unannounced visitors, who would read her a dizzying list of felony voting fraud charges that amounted to more than 100 years in prison. Handcuffed, Smart soon met nine other incarcerated African Americans who had participated in a vigorous get-out-the-vote campaign ahead of an election the previous month. Three of those jailed had been elected to the local school board.

Their efforts had helped to win the first-ever African American majority on Brooks County’s Board of Education. But almost four years after that vote, dozens of felony fraud charges still overshadow the group, known locally as the Quitman 10 + 2 (two more were subsequently charged). In her living room, Smart points to the television where she first saw her orange-jumpsuit-clad mug shot on the nightly news. She is the only member of the group who has not yet seen a trial—or, more precisely, she’s had two mistrials and counting. Since receiving 32 felony charges, her hoped-for career in criminal justice has, obviously, stalled. She now works full-time at Home Depot and fills in part-time shifts selling shoes at the department store. Before the first trial, she contemplated suicide, but says her resolve has since grown.

Smart’s arrest was the result of a massive investigation initiated by a local district attorney whose senior assistant attorney sat on the Brooks County school board. Although this conflict of interest disqualified the DA from trying the case, it didn’t prevent him from compelling the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) to launch an exceptionally large probe into the disruptive school-board election.
Yet the massive investigation failed to produce evidence that Smart or any other member of the group had defrauded or coerced a single voter. With these goods lacking, the state built its prosecution instead on proving that she and others breached technicalities like carrying envelopes containing ballots to the mail for their close acquaintances without the proper authorization. Even on these counts, the state is struggling to make its case.

I find this particularly chilling because I was recently involved in a public school levy campaign (not a school board race, as in this case in Georgia) and we did the same thing: we targeted our GOTV to specific voters.

It was our belief that the people who were the most affected by school funding issues were also “sporadic” voters; younger working people with children who really rely on a local public school as the center of their child’s community because they don’t have the means or opportunity to offer their children the “extras” that someone who makes more money and works regular, predictable hours might. We thought they had the most “skin in the game” yet were perhaps least likely to hear about the election and we were right. We told them about it, door to door, and they came out. Most of them had no idea it was going on. We won by almost exactly the margin of the voters we identified as “sporadic” or perhaps disengaged (for all kinds of reasons).

Doesn’t this prosecution seem crazily excessive and really designed to make anyone think twice about getting involved in organizing? I get that there are very specific rules relating to balloting, but for goodness sakes. This sounds nuts.

104 replies
  1. 1
    pharniel says:

    Of course it is. In a just world all those involved would be looking at misuse of power charges.

  2. 2
    Cassidy says:

    Doesn’t this prosecution seem crazily excessive and really designed to make anyone think twice about getting involved in organizing?

    Absolutely.

  3. 3
    Bobby Thomson says:

    an exceptionally large probe into the disruptive school-board election

    “Disruptive” seems to be Georgia for “the white guys lost.”

  4. 4
    Belafon says:

    Doesn’t this prosecution seem crazily excessive and really designed to make anyone think twice about getting involved in organizing?

    Especially if your skin color isn’t correct.

  5. 5
    Cassidy says:

    @Belafon: They’re all AA.

  6. 6
    beth says:

    @Cassidy: And a lot of the people who voted by absentee ballots were called to testify for the prosecution even though the voters claimed that they voted as they wanted without any coercion from the voting activists. However some of the voters are now scared to vote that way again since they don’t want to have the police show up at their door and get hauled into court. That’s another way to depress voting.

  7. 7
    moonbat says:

    Sounds like she has a suit against them for violating her civil rights. Where’s the ACLU in all this? 43 felony counts???? It’s an obvious abuse of power and something that will probably be used the next time they want to pass voting restrictions in the Georgia state house.

  8. 8
    Gus diZerega says:

    If it were not for the crime of slavery that damn Confederacy should have been kicked out if it did not leave voluntarily. They are thugs with genteel accents.

  9. 9
    Tim F. says:

    Doesn’t this prosecution seem crazily excessive and really designed to make anyone think twice about getting involved in organizing?

    It seems excessive to the point of desparate. People see their world changing and they are frantic to stop it.

  10. 10
    Davis X. Machina says:

    This is, after all, a government of laws, and not of men.
    Unless it’s the right men.
    Because then, it is a government of men.

  11. 11
    Linnaeus says:

    Doesn’t this prosecution seem crazily excessive and really designed to make anyone think twice about getting involved in organizing?

    I’d say that it more than seems excessive – it is excessive. There’s a history of this kind of thing. It may have changed in practice over the years, but we know that when some folks try to exercise power as citizens of this republic, there are certain others who will try to curb that in any way they can get away with doing.

  12. 12
    Linnaeus says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    “Disruption” is only good if the right people do it.

  13. 13
    El Caganer says:

    He ‘compelled the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to launch an exceptionally large probe?’ How the fuck did he do that? Bet he had to twist those arms real, real hard…..

  14. 14
    eric U. says:

    progress, at least they didn’t lynch them. Although this is damn close in spirit

  15. 15

    Sounds like Jim Crow II.

  16. 16

    Yeah, DOJ needs to get involved in this.

  17. 17
    cat says:

    What’s going on here?

    Racism.

    /SA4SQ

  18. 18
    JGabriel says:

    Vice:

    Handcuffed, Smart soon met nine other incarcerated African Americans who had participated in a vigorous get-out-the-vote campaign ahead of an election the previous month.

    Kay @ Top:

    Doesn’t this prosecution seem crazily excessive and really designed to make anyone think twice about getting involved in organizing? I get that there are very specific rules relating to balloting, but for goodness sakes. This sounds nuts.

    Also? It sounds really, really racist. You have to wonder whether GA would have been this aggressive if John Roberts and the rest of his Catholic Inquisition priesthood hadn’t overturned Section 4 of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

  19. 19
    gratuitous says:

    Well, I’m glad we’re all post-racist and everything nowadays, otherwise my churlish mind would see “Georgia” “excessive prosecution” and a dozen black defendants and think there might just be a racial component to this.

    I’m pretty sure the message has been delivered in the right precincts (if you catch my drift), that you are being watched, your activities are being scrutinized, and the “proper” authorities are well aware of your voting record, whether or not you voted absentee or at a polling place, and those authorities aren’t shy about guessing how you voted.

  20. 20
    Kay says:

    @Linnaeus:

    I tried to find filings and such, but they don’t seem to be online. The reporter says the outlet reviewed the transcript of the mistrial(s).

    The state prosecutor who has been trying the case, Joseph Burford, likewise refused to help us understand elementary facts of the project his office continues to pursue. He says state ethics rules bar prosecutors from speaking to media outlets about open cases. (Such code did not stop the previous prosecutor on the case, Joseph Mulholland, from appearing on Fox News to tell a national audience of the Quitman 10 + 2 “rigging the election.” Mulholland declined to speak with VICE, as did the local DA, David Miller.)

  21. 21
    Kay says:

    @beth:

    It’s a way to depress sticking your head up at all. Who in their right mind would risk this?

  22. 22
    Waynski says:

    @moonbat:

    Sounds like she has a suit against them for violating her civil rights. Where’s the ACLU in all this?

    To hell with the ACLU, where’s Mr. Holder? These racists should be in irons.

  23. 23
    shelley says:

    Sure, you always need to send a SWAT team to arrest someone accused of carrying ballots improperly to the mailbox.

  24. 24

    @Kay: “rigging the election” = “black people voting”.

    Someone needs to come up with a GOP -> truth translator and plug it into your TVs close captioning.

  25. 25
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    It sounds like they are frantic to try to prove their myth that liberals only win elections by cheating. Sure they are A.A.s and it’s the South, but it’s only a school board.

  26. 26
    Tone In DC says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Yeah… it does, doesn’t it.
    The wingers in Georgia seem worse than those in most states.

    And, a horde of armed cops came to arrest one woman. This entire succession of events seems excessive.

  27. 27
    El Caganer says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Yes, it’s only a school board, but the prosecution sends a very loud message to…..certain people…..about what can happen to them if they get too interested in any election.

  28. 28
    Belafon says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: It is my belief that we are going to have to refight some of the civil rights issues of the early 1900s over again – in large part thanks to Roberts, Thomas, etc. – and that voting rights are the ultimate fight. Everything else will fall from that.

  29. 29
    Jim pharo says:

    I see you’ve only just arrived in America. Welcome! This is democracy, American-style!

    A lot of folks on our side of the aisle seem to always think we’re on the verge of things getting really out of control. Bad news: things are wildly out of control already. The damage is already done. About half of us think anything other than rank selfishness is morally wrong and un-patriotic. It will take a generation or two or three to sort this out. (Which is what passes for good news: while we’re in a big hole, it’s not like fixing it is a mystery.)

    So local law enforcement abuses its authority and prosecutes (persecutes, more like) people they don’t like, and most people just shrug, thinking there must be something wrong with the accused, and not thinking for a moment that the real story is the wrongful conduct by law enforcement.

  30. 30
    LAC says:

    @Tone In DC: well, they didn’t bring dogs and hoses, so that reasonable for them.

    What a fucking joke. Please tell me again that we are in a post racial world.

  31. 31

    @Belafon: Add workers rights and women’s rights to that list, also.

  32. 32
    aimai says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: I don’t think they are trying to prove anything, to anyone. This is straight up strongarming of the actual electorate. The goal is to prevent AA people from becoming politically active and from voting at all. Its not about demonstrating anything to outsiders.

  33. 33
    Roger Moore says:

    Doesn’t this prosecution seem crazily excessive and really designed to make anyone think twice about getting involved in organizing?

    No. It seems crazily excessive and really designed to make African Americans think twice about getting involved in organizing. It is blatantly racially motivated in a way that nobody in that environment could possibly miss.

  34. 34
    Eric U. says:

    bring back the reconstruction

  35. 35
    Kay says:

    @Belafon:

    Lately though, I feel like just protecting gains is actually erosion, because laws DO have to change.

    One example is federal protections for workplace and worker safety. The rules are outdated. They don’t protect contract employees and there’s all kinds of workarounds employers have developed. They were designed for a different workforce.

    Conservatives are never going to update any of this. They WANT it not to work. The VRA SHOULD be updated. It could be a better law.

    We’re still “living in the house that FDR built” but it doesn’t have electricity and it needs a new roof. At some point we need people who want to govern.

  36. 36
    Barry says:

    F*ck these guys, good and hard. If I were Holder, I’d have a team working full-time on busting that DA and the police.

    You know, I generally oppose torture, but if I could have five minutes with that DA and a two-pound hammer, I’m sure that he’d tell the truth for the first time in his life.

  37. 37
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    I’m horrified. Once again, we see the other side’s lack of respect for free elections.

  38. 38
    Anya says:

    Does the DOJ have a role in this? Can’t they investigate the persecutor for misconduct?

  39. 39
    piratedan says:

    @Kay: what bothers me the most (yeah, even the racism about it) is that it runs against that set of core beliefs that I was taught as a child. That if you organize and work hard, yes, even you can effect change. Instead, these folks organized, got out the vote, made a difference and they got fucking arrested and their lives ruined and thus far, nary a fucking thing has been shown that they did anything wrong. It’s the kind of malfeasance that makes me want revenge for those folks, be it at the political expense of those who perpetrated it and especially against those that sanctioned it.

  40. 40
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I suppose it’s too much to hope that the damning charge of “being uppity” was included in the indictments of these out of control coloreds.

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon: No, I think we’re going to have to refight the War of Northern Aggression, except this time we don’t be polite like Sherman was when marching through Georgia.

  42. 42
    Kay says:

    @piratedan:

    To be clear, I agree with you that it’s race-based. But I also 100% wanted to make the point that you make, that it’s absolutely chilling and will suppress organizing. The reason we make such a big deal about people who give up everything for a principle is there are so few of them. It’s rare.

    I think it’s also grimly amusing, given the conservative bleating on the rights of money to influence elections. They push back against transparency in campaign finance because they say it “chills” political speech. Where are they here? Individuals are LESS vulnerable to efforts by the state to silence political speech than donors?

  43. 43
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Kay:

    The most depressing thing is, this is already a win for them. They’ve already ruined lives and instituted the chilling effect. It doesn’t matter in the end if the charges don’t stick in the end, the fact that the process has lasted this long, done irreparable damage to the lives and careers of those charged, and implanted the fear of being the nail that sticks out in the voting process, they’ve already quelled what they wanted for a good few years. It may not end up a total win in the end, but it’s still a win enough that they can do it, and will keep doing it. It’s fucking terrifying, but as you can probably see, it fucking works like gangbusters in the short term.

    @Kay:

    And that’s precisely why I’m so despondent about politics now. At best, we’re left in a holding pattern when we SHOULD be improving, and very likely will end up just with further and further erosions because “HOLY SHIT, SUPER MEGA ULTRA DEM OVERREACH, SWING THE PENDULUM BACK NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW!” always seems to fucking win the conversation in the end.

  44. 44
    Kay says:

    @Anya:

    I don’t know anything about federal intervention in prosecutorial misconduct.

  45. 45
    Cassidy says:

    If the NSA had been mentioned Mix, Cole, and Betty would be talking about this. It would dominate the FP for days.

  46. 46
    WaterGirl says:

    This is clearly abuse of power. How does one find out if the ACLU or the DOJ are aware of this and/or doing something about it?

  47. 47
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    And yet all the oxygen in the room when shit about electoral misconduct is discussed is instead taken up by how Dems hate real elections because they hate IDs and just want illegals coming in en masse to stuff ballots, and why shouldn’t you show ID to vote because you have to if you buy beer, etc. etc. The GOP manages to project and gish gallop to wins all the fucking time just by controlling the entire goddamn conversation and argument that by the time you can say something that’s actually with substance, it’s drowned out by the sheer amount of bullshit crushing you and forcing you on the defensive again that the public starts to believe that you really are a goddamn libby super-satan like the GOP and media say you are.

  48. 48
    Kay says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    If you’re worried about voter fraud (I’m not) then absentee balloting has always been the weak link. Lawyers in Ohio used that exact point to argue against Republican ID efforts. They said if Republicans WERE worried about voter fraud, they’d tighten up absentee balloting. Republicans in Ohio just extended it to no-fault, and made it universal. Everyone gets an absentee in the mail.

    Yet here the allegations center around the weaknesses in absentee balloting. Voters can’t win this game. It’s rigged.

    They could make absentee balloting better. But they never will.

  49. 49
    boatboy_srq says:

    @shelley: “SWAT Team” = “Lynch mob 2.0”

    GA is just POd its Other population has more than 3/5 vote.

    @Tone In DC:

    The wingers in Georgia seem worse than those in most states.

    They’re just worse at timing and press relations. TX, FL, NC and VA (among other states) all have their (more than) fair share, and things aren’t much better in Fresno or Bakersfield. Although that subplot from Fried Green Tomatoes (that GA had a more rabid KKK presence even than AL) does seem to ring true.

  50. 50
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @boatboy_srq: Well, I’m not sure about the subplot. The only place I’ve seen the KKK openly recruiting was at a road intersection in northern AL, but this was back in ’79, mind you, not recently.

    Understandably, the KKK didn’t openly recruit in regalia around US military installations at least when I was stationed in the South.

  51. 51
    burnspbesq says:

    Doesn’t this prosecution seem crazily excessive and really designed to make anyone think twice about getting involved in organizing?

    Of course it does. But the other takeaway from this is that when faced with an arcane set of rules and a hostile enforcement apparatus, lawyer up in advance, learn the rules, and follow them scrupulously.

  52. 52
    Paul in KY says:

    Story is sickening. Good, and sorta naïve, people exercising their rights & here comes Jim Crow Version 2.0 (now with more subtlety!) to hammer them.

    I agree AG Holder should look into this, pronto.

    The naivety (IMO) was doing the get-out-to-vote thing with absentee ballots & thinking the white losers were just going to sit there & not cry foul.

  53. 53
    Belafon says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: The only problem with the war now is that you can’t divide states by those that do from those that don’t. It’s more along the lines of can you divide regions that way.

  54. 54
    dre says:

    @Waynski:

    To hell with the ACLU, where’s Mr. Holder? These racists should be in irons.

    Fuck Holder, where’s Sherman?

  55. 55
    JPL says:

    Gov. Deal is being investigated by the FBI but as far as I know, it only has to do with campaign finance laws. I researched google news and the story has not received a lot of coverage. Maybe this article will cause someone to look into it further.

  56. 56
    Citizen_X says:

    What’s going on here?

    Voter suppression by anti-democracy white supremacists.

  57. 57
    Tokyokie says:

    This is another example of a meme I’ve been trying to popularize for a while: Apartheid Republicans. I challenge anybody to find any significant differences between the National Party of P.W. Botha and the contemporary GOP.

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    why shouldn’t you show ID to vote because you have to if you buy beer

    I usually say that, last time I checked, there was no Constitutional right to buy beer. They usually just brush it off and keep going, though.

    @Paul in KY:

    Jim Crow Version 2.0 (now with more subtlety!)

    Sending a SWAT team to arrest one woman for (alleged) voter fraud is not subtle. At all.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Just can’t pass up an opportunity to blame the victims, can you?

  60. 60
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I usually say that, last time I checked, there was no Constitutional right to buy beer.

    Not only is there no Constitutional right to buy beer, the Constitution explicitly gives states the right to restrict sales of alcohol.

  61. 61
    PIGL says:

    @burnspbesq: and this would have prevented, what exactly? You can’t protect yourself from abuse of power of this kind by following the rules, because the oppressors to do not fucking care whether you are following the rules, and certainly don’t intend to do so themselves.

  62. 62
    The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    I just emailed the DOJ to draw their attention to this, and ask what they’re going to do about it. The email for DOJ, including AG Holder’s office, is askdoj@usdoj.gov. Are we going to be content with whining about this on a blog, or are we going to make some noise?

  63. 63
    Just One More Canuck says:

    How many bubbles are there in a bar of soap?

  64. 64
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: Uh, compared to old Jim Crow, where they would have shown up in middle of night & shot them all for ‘resisting arrest’, it is more subtle.

  65. 65
    Gian says:

    @PIGL: It would just mean more preparation was needed
    Is there a decent 1983 case here? Punitive damages would be nice

  66. 66
    mai naem says:

    Hey, Kay there was a story on NPR yesterday PM about an Oakland Catholic school which is making it’s teachers sign a morality clause in their contract that states that they will act according to Catholic church tenets. They talked about some of the teachers being gay. They didn’t say anything about contraceptives which I think would be just as big an issue.

  67. 67
    JPL says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion: Good. Someone upstairs called the GA NAACP and didn’t get much of a response.

  68. 68
    piratedan says:

    @JPL: @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion: followed your suggestion and wrote an e-mail to the doj and supplied the link. It isn’t much but it’s better than nothing. In a just world, those fuckers who perpetrated this would be disbarred and shamed and wearing orange of their own.

  69. 69
    David Fud says:

    @PIGL: Considering that they have attempted to prosecute her three times with no real (official) results to show for it, I would say that they followed the rules pretty damned well in any event. Well, except for that (unwritten) rule about winning elections while non-white in a Southern state.

  70. 70
    Richard Bottoms says:

    I’ll save you the trouble of going to my Facebook page:

    I just got off the phone with the Atlanta branch of the NAACP demanding to know why their president Cornell William Brooks isn’t standing with the entire leadership of his organization in Nancy Dennard’s front yard calling for the impeachment of every official in Georgia responsible for the ridiculous indictment, and THIRD attempt to prosecute her and others for voter fraud:

    http://www.vice.com/read/the-q.....eorgia-715

    That high pitched sound you hear is the steam coming out of my ears as yet again this organization proves itself to be a ineffectual parody of a group once responsible for Brown vs. Board of Education.

    If you are as pissed about this as I am please call the NAACP in Atlanta and demand action now: 404.577.8977

    You don’t have to call them a bunch of useless idiots because I’ve already done that for you, what you can do however is perhaps embarrass them into getting them off their collective asses and do something.

    Today.

  71. 71
    JPL says:

    The story needs to be on MSM in order to get more attention. Melissa Harris-Perry or Chris Hayes might be interested in following up. It’s not much but it’s a start.

  72. 72
    MattR says:

    @Richard Bottoms: DId they offer any kind of rationale for their response (or lack thereof)?

  73. 73
    Alce_y_Ardilla says:

    Sounds like an open-and-shut case of VWB (Voting while Black). I swear these racist f^ckers make my blood boil.

  74. 74
    rikyrah says:

    It was clear as day to me, Kay.

    Black folks showed up at the polls and exercised their power.

    White folks didn’t like it, THUS the prosecutions.

    This is James Crow, Esq.

    Their Daddies woulda just showed up in the middle of the night to their houses and they never would have been heard from again.

    See….simple as A-B-C

  75. 75
    Shakezula says:

    Doesn’t this prosecution seem crazily excessive and really designed to make anyone think twice about getting involved in organizing? I get that there are very specific rules relating to balloting, but for goodness sakes. This sounds nuts.

    I assume these are rhetorical questions since the race of the people arrested and the state where it went down make this another episode of Racist History Repeats Itself.

    Where the hell is the DOJ?

  76. 76
    Richard Bottoms says:

    @MattR: Other than the usual stupidity of the NAACP?

    The organization is made up of individual chapters with no central coordination over what they do or what issues they tackle unlike in earlier times when they were.. relevant?

    I assume it’s because we black folks have a tendency to be contrary when it comes to ANYBODY telling us what to do because of that unfortunate slavery business.

    The result they are toothless and disorganized, existing pretty much to give an Image Award once a year to some soon to be embarrassing celebrity, and to pay its president a comfortable salary so he can fly around and be ignored by anyone who matters.

  77. 77
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Doesn’t this prosecution seem crazily excessive and really designed to make anyone think twice about getting involved in organizing?

    Late to the party to repeat: Exactly. And this sort of shit applied to voting (intimidation through excessive prosecution) needs to be nipped in the bud yesterday.

  78. 78
    NCSteve says:

    What’s going on here is plain old fashioned abuse of the police and judicial system to intimidate black voters and suppress black votes in Georgia. It’s not exactly a new thing under the sun thereabouts. Only thing different is they’re not covertly working hand in glove with the Klan to add a little nighttime murder, intimidation and arson to the daytime frame job. Progress!

  79. 79
    J R in WV says:

    This is exactly the kind of intimadation that was standard procedure during Jim Crow. These activists were all black, and the white establishment in Georgia has heard from early age how “We used to take care of them Ni***hs back in Daddy’s day!” So they put that exact despicable plan into work, use the police and the force of law specifically to break the back of these uppity brown folks!

    People with PhDs were arrested and accused of two or three felonies for every absentee ballot they ever laid eyes on – dozens of crimes leading to an effective life in prison penalty for voting, and helping others vote. People gave their lives to gain the right to register to vote, and these monsters are working to take those rights away from the people.

    I am amazed that the Justice Department isn’t there, holding people in custody and interviewing to seee whose ideas these were, and who told who to do what. They should have a pocket full of federal indictments before the plane even touches ground, and use them to break this conspiracy to commit – well technically I guess it isn’t treason – but that the best word I can think of for it. Trying to end Democracy in America, if that isn’t treason it will do until the real thing comes around.

    This is exactly how a democracy can be turned into a non-free zone. Hitler would have won elections in Germany in the 1930s if he had bothered to. Because the people who would have voted against him were turned into non-citizens, just like black folks in Jim Crow South states right here in America were in 1962!

    I saw the dogs turned loose on peaceful demonstrators on the evening news when I was a kid. Make no mistake, these guys would love to use slavering dogs on women and children, they’re just a little hesitant to get to putting people in the hospital, so far.

    Of course in 1963 black folks weren’t allowed in the hospitals that white folks used! They could lie on the steps til they died before they would be given a drink of water! People younger than me don’t really remember, but I was brought up in a household where the evening news was central to daily life, and I saw the news media telling the truth, because it was so ugly these reporters from places without Jim Crow couldn’t believe their eyes!

    Now it is happening again! I can’t believe my eyes!

  80. 80
    MattR says:

    @Richard Bottoms:

    I assume it’s because we black folks have a tendency to be contrary when it comes to ANYBODY telling us what to do because of that unfortunate slavery business.

    As part of a larger segment comparing the common history of blacks and jews (jump to 19:38 for the start of that), Jon Stewart has an old stand up bit along that same lines about how Jews could never have a conspiracy to control the banks because they can’t even agree with each other on dinner.

    (EDIT: It also has the great line about the white militias who are convinced that “the jews control the banks and blacks are coming to take their shit” but they live in places like Idaho so they’ve never met a jew or a black person. But they’ve seen Martin and rented Yentl so they’re pretty sure they know what’s going on)

  81. 81
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon: Even during the Late Unpleasantness of 150 years ago, there were vast swaths of Confederate states that were pro-Union, and vast swaths of Union states that leaned Confederate.

    So it was never as simple as a quick overview would have you believe.

    Still, I think we can start with making life very difficult for the prosecutor and the police who serve as his minions in this case. Oh, yes, we can.

  82. 82
    CDW says:

    Of course the prosecutions were excessive. Where were the feds, the aclu, and other advocacy groups during all this?

  83. 83
    Botsplainer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Still, I think we can start with making life very difficult for the prosecutor and the police who serve as his minions in this case. Oh, yes, we can.

    A little less MLK and a lot more Nat Turner, I’d say.

    Armed march, peaceful, but with some machete-hacked and headless effigies of the prosecutor, Nate Deal, the police, the GBI director. Let those pasty, pudgy Mayberry Machiabellies feel like they have some real skin in the game, put them into a flop sweat.

  84. 84
    Richard Bottoms says:

    @Botsplainer: You are an idiot. Save that crap for the Teahadist shit starting asshole sock puppets which going the the content of your previous posts, I’m guessing you actually are.

  85. 85
    ItAintEazy says:

    @Paul in KY: @Barry:

    I agree AG Holder should look into this, pronto.

    Sorry, the DOJ has a bunch of “terrorists” they need to entrap first.

  86. 86
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    School board politics are like small town politics, full of shitty little backroom deals and stitch-ups, which is another good reason why school boards should be abolished.

  87. 87
    David Koch says:

    Kay,

    Have you arrived in Detroit?

  88. 88
    J R in WV says:

    Quite some history in Brooks County, Georgia:

    In May of 1918, a white plantation owner in Brooks County was killed by one of his African-American workers. In retaliation, white mobs hunted down and murdered at least eleven African-Americans, including twenty year old and eight months pregnant Mary Turner and her husband. After her husband was murdered by the white lynch mob, Mary Turner, on May 19, 1918, publicly condemned the murder of her husband and threatened to identify the perpetrators to law enforcement authorities. For this she was abducted by enraged whites, who hanged her by her ankles from a tree near Folsom’s Bridge, burned the clothes from her body, cut her fetus from her womb, killed the fetus, and then riddled Ms. Turner’s body with bullets. Following the murder of Mary Turner and her unborn baby, several other bodies were found in the area, and the perpetrator of the plantation owner’s murder was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police. A white mob mutilated the corpse and dragged it through the streets by a rope around the neck for several miles, and finally burned it. Subsequently, as many as 500 African-Americans fled Lowndes and Brooks counties in fear for their lives.[3] Mary Turner’s lynching drew widespread condemnation nationally, and formed the impetus for the Anti-Lynching Crusaders campaign for the 1922 Dyer Bill, which sought to make lynching a federal crime.[4] In 2010, a historical marker encaptioned “Mary Turner and the Lynching Rampage” was installed at Folsom’s Bridge to remind the public of these atrocities.[5]

    According to the census bureau there are 940 firms in the county, but the number owned by blacks is suppressed because it doesn’t meet publication standards. Probably none that are licensed.

    62.9% white and 35% black/african-american and a few little bits of others… amazing, time stood still for these people.

    In many rural counties (this is true for many here in WV) the biggest employer is the Board of Education, teachers, bus drivers, custodians, etc. This means it is often the center of the local political power structure. The ability to hire and fire can provide one with sufficient power to be elected to the county commission, mayor, as well as the actual Board of Education.

    And of course, the election in which these folks are accused of voter fraud is indeed the Board of Education!

    The more I look at this the worse it looks !!

  89. 89
    MomSense says:

    @rikyrah:

    Black folks showed up at the polls and exercised their power.

    White folks didn’t like it, THUS the prosecutions.

    This is James Crow, Esq.

    Their Daddies woulda just showed up in the middle of the night to their houses and they never would have been heard from again.

    QFT

  90. 90
    redoubt says:

    Ah. Brooks County, next door to Lowndes County, which is known to African American drivers traveling I-75 as “that place they like to pull over black people because they ‘might be running drugs'”. So no, not entirely surprised.

  91. 91
    Botsplainer says:

    @Richard Bottoms:

    Lighten up, Francis, it is fantasy. I keep noticing that the pain always heads one way, always at the hands of people who resemble me. Just a few times, I’d like to see people of color suffer less in order to freely exercise the franchise.

    I really wouldn’t mind seeing some conservative Christer activists get martyred for their causes for once.

  92. 92
    another Holocene human says:

    @Kay: absentee ballot is how gopers double vote. That’s why they lecture us in public about how voting should be by property owners. Because they vote on each property. And on relatives addresses too. It’s always projection, they cheat in these little ways and then rage when they’re outvoted by unworthies, renters.

  93. 93
    another Holocene human says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion: Good idea. Done. Hope you lurkers have done so as well. A few hundred emails might get their attention.

  94. 94
    another Holocene human says:

    @Richard Bottoms: I’m thinking asses like him and that dildo in LA is why Ben Jealous quit, from where I’m sitting he seemed like the best head in years, very activist.

    The org is very grass roots structure, if the locals don’t put forward someone good it can end up being irrelevant.

  95. 95
    another Holocene human says:

    @CDW: fellating snowjob

    I gave fla aclu some money last year because of syg and ya know, Florida, and they are sending me a stupid aclu mag to encourage a repeat.

    Sheppard Fairey Ed Snowden fan art is the cover.

    Y’all are really making me question my support of your fine organization.

  96. 96
    karen says:

    Doesn’t this technically make the “Quitman 10” felons who can’t vote now? If African Americans see what happened to the Q10, won’t that subtly imply that if you’re black and vote, you’ll be arrested? This is no different than the robocalls to African American voters mentioning that it is against the law for felons to vote? Both are a good way to intimidate AAs into not voting.

  97. 97
    Richard Bottoms says:

    @another Holocene human: End up? They are irrelevant. John Stewart makes more of an impact on a daily basis. Pun intended.

  98. 98
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @karen:

    Doesn’t this technically make the “Quitman 10″ felons who can’t vote now?

    As I understand it, none of them has been convicted of any felony. It that is the case, they are not felons.

  99. 99
    Angela says:

    @another Holocene human: done. And posted the news link and email on my Facebook. Seems like that is something many of my Quaker peeps would like to know.

  100. 100
    WaterGirl says:

    @another Holocene human: Thanks for the reminder – I intended to to that earlier and got distracted. That darn work, always getting in the way!

    Just sent an email to the DOJ.

  101. 101
    Richard Bottoms says:

    The best thing to happen to the people in this case is for John Stewart, Bill Maher or that British guy to mention it this coming weekend. All the we shall overcome in the world won’t match up to Stewart ridiculing these asshats for three minutes.

  102. 102
    Wally Ballou says:

    @shelley: You do if you want to “send a message”.

  103. 103
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @another Holocene human: Another one sent. This really is infuriating. :-(

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  104. 104
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Richard Bottoms: John Jon Stewart.

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

Comments are closed.